More study is needed on the effects of sitting and physical activity on health. However, it seems clear that less sitting and more moving overall contribute to better health. You might start by simply standing rather than sitting when you have the chance or finding ways to walk while you work. For example:
- Take a break from sitting every 30 minutes.
- Stand while talking on the phone or watching television.
- If you work at a desk, try a standing desk — or improvise with a high table or counter.
- Walk with your colleagues for meetings rather than sitting in a conference room.
- Position your work surface above a treadmill — with a computer screen and keyboard on a stand or a specialized treadmill-ready vertical desk — so that you can be in motion throughout the day.
When you sit, you use less energy than you do when you stand or move. Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns. They include obesity and a cluster of conditions – increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels – that make up metabolic syndrome.